“I messed up again.”
That was a text I sent to my wife after I jumped the gun on a programming moment before getting the ok from my supervisor. My supervisor had told me to not do it after I had already done it. This is not the first time that I’ve messed up in a ministry setting, and so there are a few things that come to my head after the sudden realization that I messed up passes by. Here are 5 things that goes through my head when I mess up in ministry.
1. These are preaching moments
Being young, when I’m preparing for a sermon, I realize that I don’t have a lot of personal stories to choose from. So when I fail, I more or less think about how I can use this failure for the glory of God. What a better way to do that than to laugh at the situation in a sermon!
Always remember that ministers fail, especially early on. Even one of the first ministers ever, Peter, failed Jesus after swearing that he would never do such a thing (Matt 26:69-75). Talk to other ministers. They may have experienced something very similar to what you’ve experienced if you hear what they have to say.
3. You are not the problem
Many times, we get caught up in the idea that we are just not cut out to be a minister. But we aren’t looking at the actual problem. Personally, when I fail it normally has something to do with communication. Sometimes, I’ll say the wrong thing in front of the wrong people. Other times I won’t communicate enough to my other ministers. It’s not me, it’s just my communication. I encourage you to look at the heart of the issue.
4. We are all sinners
One of the main parts of the Romans Road (Romans 3:23) needs to be remembered when we fail. Everybody is a sinner, and everybody is constantly fighting between their flesh and their spirit. With sinning comes failure in ministry, so be aware.
5. God’s mercy is overwhelming
No failure will ever amount to more than what God has forgiven us for. No matter what we do, God will always forgive, and that’s true for ministers! We preach God’s mercy, but sometimes we forget that we fall under his mercy when we think we’ve failed. Don’t forget that Jesus’ death and resurrection assures us that we are still loved and forgiven for any failure that we happen to have.